• 30. Oktober 2019
  • 12:09
  • Economy

Port of Hamburg Marketing contributes to Expert Meeting and Open Forum on Trans-European Transport Network policy revision

The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) Baltic Sea Commission (BSC) Transport Working Group, together with the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council organised an Expert Meeting and Open Forum on Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) policy revision. The latter being the lead partner of the BSR Access platform project. Both events took place during the Digital Transport Days in Helsinki, on the 9th and 10th of October 2019 respectively. While the Expert Meeting highlighted good governance and stakeholder cooperation in the TEN-T policy, the Open Forum focused on how this policy can contribute to gaining cohesion in the European Union (EU).

The Expert Workshop brought together 45 transport policymakers at European-, national- and regional levels. Attending stakeholders discussed the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the TEN-T guidelines.

The meeting was opened by Ms. Catherine TRAUTMANN, European Coordinator of the North Sea – Baltic Core Network Corridor (CNC). She announced that the debate on the multiannual financial framework package for 2021—2027 is still on-going and we need a strong CEF 2 to deliver sustainable transport in the future.

The BSR Access partnership actively contributed to the event by presenting best practices and finding derived from past BSR projects.

Mathias LINDSTRÖM, Director of Kvarken Council, for instance shared their experience from Vaasa-Umeå Region on intensifying cross-border cooperation by establishing a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) as a European legal instrument designed to ensure implementation of cross-border development projects, maintenance of cross-border infrastructure and day-to-day cooperation. He stressed the importance of extending the TEN-T network northwards. Regions and urban nodes are only to receive additional funding if they are part of the TEN-T map.

Another hot topic that was discussed is the deployment of renewable clean fuel. Nora SCHINDLER from Berlin-Brandenburg Joint Spatial Planning Department, co-founder of the Scandria®Alliance, presented the project results on utilising means of governance to enhance the harmonisation of clean fuel deployment and green mobility solutions. This work is continued by them within the BSR Access platform project.

At the end of the Expert Meeting, Ms. Trautmann particularly expressed her gratitude for the area of alternative fuel. Looking at the current state investments in hydrogen, there is currently no coordination between the Baltic countries. However, Ms. Trautmann promised to make this a priority now and integrate cohesive planning to make green hydrogen a reliable energy source in the future. In order to achieve this goal, public authorities - European, national and regional - and business stakeholders working in (hydrogen) fuelling station deployment have to work more closely together in the future:

“We see that there is a real added value through cooperation when it goes through (…) the first mile to integrate and to give content to the corridor. The corridor must be a sort of frame and an opportunity and an enabler, but it is nothing if we don’t have the will to go quickly through cross-border issues and bottlenecks.“

Following the Expert Workshop, around 60 transport policymakers at European-, national- and regional levels gathered once more to discuss the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the TEN-T guidelines. Both events in Helsinki built upon the European Commission’s public TEN-T Policy consultation process from July 2019. Active participation in the TEN-T policy review is crucial to strengthen the role of northern Europe in innovation, digitalisation, and as a frontrunner in sustainable economic growth.

The Open Forum started with Ossi SAVOLAINEN, Regional Mayor of Helsinki-Uusimaa, greeting the participants via video-message. He stressed the importance of northern regions being actively involvement in the TEN-T policy revision process. Jari NAHKANEN, President of CPMR BSC (Oulu Region), and Bosse ANDERSSON, Chair of CPMR BSC Transport Working Group (Region Stockholm), both expressed their gratitude towards the northern extension of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean and North-Sea Baltic CNCs and reminded the attending policy makers that “EU policy is not only something for us to implement, but also for us to direct and formulate.” (Nahkanen).

Kaarin TAIPALE, Vice-Chair of the CPMR BSC Transport Working Group (Helsinki-Uusimaa), expressed that regions and areas located in the periphery of the EU are concerned about equal access to the core network. She explained that “it is about reducing inequalities and very much about climate action (these days). That is why we must understand more what clean energy and renewable energy means for transport and how to solve the issue of infrastructure for renewable energy. (…) Transport and the TEN-T are not only about moving from one place to another. In the EU, it is a powerful tool for European social and territorial cohesion. Globally, it is a powerful tool for climate action.”

In addition, Jean-Louis Colson, Head of Unit B1-Transport Networks at DG Move, explained that DG Move is currently preparing for the next steps to reinforce the trans-European transport network policy implementation through CEF 2 and the revision of TEN-T and the first initial results of the stakeholder consultation process will be presented during the TEN-T Days 2020 in Croatia.

Thomas ERLANDSON, Coordinator for the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) - Policy Area Coordinator Transport, and Malla PAAJANEN, Chief Adviser at Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, emphasized the importance of establishing a flagship process and its role in supporting EUSBSR policy implementation. “The goal for the flagship is to become the engine of implementation,” Malla Paajanen said already during the Expert Meeting, “(It) is intended to implement the PAC Transport Action Plan which is approved by the involved Member States.”

In addition to the BSR Access partnership, input to the discussion different levels of TEN-T cohesion was presented by Kimmo MÄKI, CEO of Finavia, Louise WEINREDER, Senior Project Financial Manager at Vätgas Sverige (Hydrogen Sweden) and Jukka HONKANEN, Chief of Branch Defence Command Finland. Topics such as the growth of Helsinki Airport as an international transport hub, green hydrogen as a suitable solution for long-term energy storage and the current problem of non-existent cooperation between the northern countries or the lack of a common strategy for solutions in the field of renewable energies were presented.

Regarding reaching the TEN-T-Vision, Erki MUST, Task Leader Auditor at the European Court of Auditors, explained the importance of having successful Transport Flagship Infrastructures. These projects connect people, destinations and create new opportunities. Unfortunately, it is a big issue that “we are very weak in showing why the infrastructure is necessary.” (Must) “We do not build roads, rails and bridges, we build solutions and opportunities”, he continued. Such projects only make sense when concerned Member States work jointly and when a project has mutual support, also beyond the EU budgetary framework of 7+3 years.

The presentations and further information on both events can be found in the “News and events” section of the BSR Access website.

Press contact

Port of Hamburg Marketing
Inga Gurries
Phone: +49-(0)40-377 09-173
E-Mail: gurries@hafen-hamburg.de